Guide for achievement hunters, not for people who really love the game and want to experience it beauty, realism and blah, blah, blah. Just cold, hard achievements.
How to Obtain All Achievements
I've used several mods to turn the game into a more casual experience, but the process should be similar with the vanilla version. It just takes a great deal more time. For achievement hunters I strongly recommend the mods. I haven't subscribed to all of them, but the ones I used don't break the game, even if it complains they are out of date.
The difficulty I included with each achievement is more based on the time required to complete it, rather than on its complexity. When it comes to building stuff up to a certain count, it's ok to dismantle the building if you don't need it. Obviously, you need a ton of resources for some of these achievements. The dismantling doesn't return any resources, which is a bummer.
Unlike on other games, the achievements often register 1-3 minutes after completing the requirement.
Where it says that you need to grow x or build y number of something, it's seems to be cumulative for all maps, not just one playthrough.
You need to rely on the latest autosave to continue playing. It's not as destructive as it sounds. Forums recommend smaller map sizes to push this error further down the line. Some report it happens around year 10, but I encountered it at around year 14 on a small map. It must be somehow linked to the size of the village. Closing the game completely and loading the most recent autosave is the only workaround.
Fun fact: one of the fastest ways to kill off your villagers is with hypothermia. Just don't have firewood on stock during winter. I went from a population of well over 500 to about 350 using this lovely method entirely by accident. Why they didn't just gather around the funerary pyres for warmth is beyond me.
Achievements Related to Buildings
Easy achievement. I'm unsure if it triggers at the beginning or toward the end of the training map - the forums say it might be when the keep is built. The tutorial should only take about an hour, but saving and reloading before it's finished doesn't seem to work, so you have to do it in one sitting to make sure the achievement is triggered.
Easy achievement. You don't need the actual people, just the potential to house 250 people.
Easy achievement. It's ok to spam build shacks, then destroy them.
Medium achievement. Same solution as for 'Village' achievement.
Hard achievement. Because you need a ton of resources and patience.
Easy achievement. The keep is found in the Castle structures tab. You can build it at any time. I don't remember if the tutorial triggered it.
Easy achievement. Pick a fairly large spot and just spam build 100 walls. It should work if you dismantle the walls before you have 100 on the map.
Easy achievement. The building is found in the Castle Structures tab. You can build it at any time. Also it's needed for the 'Buy 10,000 products on the market' achievement and it's useful for when you have an excess of resources.
Easy achievement. You can find the port under Municipal Buildings. You also need a port for the 'Ferdinand Magellan' achievement.
Hard achievement. Similar to 'Liege' X2, but you don't need the population, just the housing.
Hard achievement. Scarecrows, lamp posts and signs don't count, so the achievement takes forever. What are counted: Statue, Playground, Gardenhouse, Bathhouse. Each one more expensive than the one before it.
Hard achievement. 'Build 200 decorations', but takes even more time and a 'crazy' amount of resources, hence the achievement's name.
Medium achievement. By mid-game you should have plenty of resources to complete this. Again, spam build.
The agrarian revolution
Medium achievement. Similar to Big farm (which is for Pastures), but for Fields. Spam build all the way.
Life is Feudal
Medium achievement. You may think it's easy, but the castle buildings are quite expensive and you don't really need too many of them, so just build then dismantle, unless you really need several barns.
Achievements Related to Villagers
Easy achievement. It's simple, but takes a bit of time. Select a villager, go to first person by clicking on their portrait, walk around the forest until you see animals, press 3 to ready the bow, hold-click to aim using the red line and release-click to shoot. The shooting mechanics are really basic. Arrows even go through trees and there is no friendly fire (I wasn't able to kill my villager's neighbor no matter how hard I tried).
Medium achievement. Similar to Hunter, but the farm/stable has to have domesticated animals on it. Possess a villager and then kill the wild animal while on the farm/stable (outside the farm does not count). You can try building a chicken coop in an area not covered by hunters (to have more wild animals around) and stalking the entrance. The wild animals are attracted to it. Still, the achievement takes forever.
Easy achievement. Should be easy to achieve if you have enough houses. Bigger is better, but watch out for food and firewood usage. It's generally better not to build residences extensively during winter. This applies to upgrading as well. The people are homeless while their residence is being upgraded. I've had several die during an upgrade. Maybe I shouldn't have upgraded 10 buildings at once :)
Medium achievement. It takes a quite a bit of time because you have to gather resources for houses, have a steady influx of food and other vital resources. Even with mods this will take hours to complete.
Hard achievement. See 'Liege' X4. Do you really not have anything better to do?
Easy achievement. Make sure you have schools with assigned villagers. I'm unsure if level 2 schools train children faster, but they do have two teachers and twice the student capacity. Building one house per year should be ok for a single school to handle. Make sure its range covers the houses.
Medium achievement. It just takes more time than 'Teacher'.
Medium-Hard achievement. If you have a self-sufficient village, speeding up the game should do wonders for this achievement. It's still going to take almost forever.
Do it yourself!
Easy achievement. You really have to like waiting for that ability meter to fill up, though. Possess a villager by clicking on their portrait to go to first person and use an ability. The third one (bow and arrow) is the fastest and it counts even if you don't hit anything.
Hard achievement. Similar to 'Do it yourself!' but more frustrating because the ability resets slowly. You need to possess a villager and use their second ability - Plant tree by pressing key 2. You will see a green circle around your position. This is where you can plant a tree if it has enough room. You can try clearing an area of trees to have this made easier. If you see an outline of the tree (any tree - you can change it with the mouse wheel), it can be planted. If you don't see the outline, then you need to aim at another location.
Easy achievement. First build a Market. Then build the Caravan Stables found under Storage, click on the + tab, select a commodity you have on stock, click on the source of the commodity (barn or warehouse), then click on the Market as the destination. You can delete or pause the route any time, ideally before you run out of the resource, especially if it's something useful. The first dropdown has the resources available to sell (brought via the donkey's route; note: it will be empty if there are no resources in the Market) and the bottom one is the resource you are bartering for. I had a surplus of meat and sold it for hay which is several times cheaper and reached the 10k in a few trades.
Don't count your chickens
Medium achievement. The challenge here is to have a steady influx of Oat to feed the chickens. Nearby well are recommended too. Then build 1-3 max-size Chicken Coops and let them fill up, maybe moving around 1/2 of the chickens from other coops. The more chickens there are in a coop, the faster they multiply. I'm unsure if they are sacrificed to make room, so I resorted to doing it myself. At speed x5 I'm barely able to lower their number from 200 to 180 by killing them. So you basically need an auto-clicker for the Kill One Animal button on the building. The button is found in the coop window and it has a basket symbol - I suppose because you carry the dead animal in the basket or something.
Hard achievement. Cows are slow breeders and I managed to waste 3 Cow Pastures before I gave up on this achievement. Make sure the pasture is protected from wild animals, so build 2-3 Hunting Cabins around it and fill them with hunters to keep the wild animals at bay. And then prey they don't die of disease. I suppose a solution might be to build one larger pasture and then spam build several small pastures. Each pasture provides one animal, so it's the best way to fill up the larger one. Also upgrading 'Animal Breeding' at the Keep should help. But a mod might be better.
Medium achievement. Build a Port, select it and build a ship. Expeditions are set up by clicking on the tabs Domesticated Animals, Fruits or Crops. Eventually (after 14 times I think) you won't have any other available tabs in the vanilla game, at least. The workaround is to have a Stable that will give you one donkey. Build a Donkey Farm and move the donkey from the stable to the farm. As long as you have available spaces in the stable, you can send expeditions that will result in +1 donkey. If the farm also gets filled, you need to sacrifice a donkey, then make room in the stable. The achievement is completed faster with multiple ports.
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